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Transport Canada issues emergency AD for Bell 429 helicopters

By Vertical Mag | April 2, 2024

Estimated reading time 1 minute, 29 seconds.

Transport Canada (TC) has issued an emergency airworthiness directive for Bell 429 helicopters, citing abrasion strip cracks in the aircraft’s tail rotor blade.

The Canadian regulator said Bell has received “several reports” of tail rotor abrasion strip cracks, and an investigation revealed a missed step in fabricating the abrasion strip by one of Bell’s suppliers.

This can result in the presence of stress risers, “leading to fatigue cracking of the part,” TC said in a statement.

“Undetected cracking of the abrasion strip could lead to tail rotor blade failure and catastrophic consequences such as severe imbalance and destruction of tail rotor gearbox and loss of directional thrust during take-off and landing.”

The emergency airworthiness directive mandates marking affected tail rotor blades and subsequent checks and inspections to detect any potential cracks, “until a terminating action is determined.”

A full list of corrective actions is available on the Transport Canada website.

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